What parents need to do is to address the dangers in the environment in what he calls an "automatic passive prevention system."
"You don't do things that invite an opportunity for a child to put himself in harm's way," he said. "Keep things locked up, install mechanisms children can't defeat."
Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico, agreed.
Today's balloon incident "highlights the need for constant vigilance," he told ABCNews.com. "Six-year-olds are curious, and given the opportunity, these things will happen."
"I think every parent has a there-but-for-the-grace-of-God moment," said Hoffman. "Events like this reinforce we can never afford to get complacent with the safety of our children.
A typical 6-year-old is in kindergarten or the first grade, and boys tend to be the most adventurous, according to Hoffman.
"The most common injuries are falls out of trees and on trampolines," he said. "Young school-age kids get into kitchen and garage tools, crawl into trunks and get trapped in confined spaces, because they like to investigate how the world works."
His advice to parents is to "be as prepared as you possibly can. It's a balance between giving kids freedom and opportunity."